Environmental Protection

Will It Be a Cold Day in September for UN Efforts?

United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the polar ice rim on Sept. 1.

If you are reading this at 9 a.m. New York time, you can still catch the beginning of the live Summit on Climate Change. If it's closer to 5 or 6 p.m., you can get a summary of the day's discussions.

This meeting is a little different from the others – the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday and in Copenhagen, Denmark on Dec. 7-18 – because everyone was invited. Head of state leadership from industrialized nations, newly emerging economies, and developing nations could participate.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set up the meeting. He said: "I hope world leaders will leave the Summit ready to give their negotiating teams the green light and specific guidance needed to accelerate progress on the road to Copenhagen. The clock is ticking. I hope they will publicly commit to sealing a deal in Copenhagen."

While portions of the summit are open to the public, there will be eight closed roundtables fostering candid discussion throughout the day, each co-chaired by a head of state or government from a developing and developed country.

I like the idea of everyone being invited, but I really want to know if more of those who typically would not participate came after all (I will follow up on this). I think it is one thing to agree to "seal the deal" but quite another to help each other do it (China argues this point). That might be the sticking point for some of the developing countries.

For more buzz from the global perspective, check out carbon intensity targets, the Congo and Amazon basins, and low-carbon growth plans.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Sep 21, 2009 at 12:43 PM


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